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New to this and don't know where to start - Carers UK Forum

New to this and don't know where to start

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Hi my name is Gary 45 year lodge male. I am looking after my partner who is 28 and 2 children for the last 4 months . My partner had a mental health issues which has now resulted in me making sure that she is always supervised at all times when kids are with her. I am also keeping down a full timw job but was told this week by social I had to take time off for couple weeks to recharge
Hi Gary,
Welcome to the forum.

It sounds like you have a lot on your plate. I hope you find the forum helpful and supportive.

Since you mention the social, am I right in assuming your partner has a social worker and you have some support in place?

Have a look at the Upfront guide to caring https://www.carersuk.org/upfront/ it will help you check what financial support you would be entitled to. If it doesn't help then it will also give you info about how to contact the helpline.

Hi melly1 yes we are in a child in need plan so trying to get all the help I can but it hard to ask for help when u don't think you need it . Social this week told be I had to takec2 weeks of with stress so could relax again. It been a hard struggle trying to get though each day working out if Mel on a good day mood or bad day mood.
Hi Gary,

It is difficult to ask for help, particularly if you are used to getting on with it and coping. However, if you can save a bit of energy by grabbing a few minutes for yourself or passing on to someone else your least favourite chores, it can prevent you getting exhausted and everyone benefits then.

With you never knowing how Mel will be feeling, being off work doesn't sound very relaxing. I always say I go back to work for a rest too.

Gary, just in case you don't know this..
Even though the Social worker has said this, you will have to go to your GP to be signed off work as sick with stress. That will give you a 'fit note' to give to your work. Please also note that you may only receive statutory sick pay while off and not your full wages.
While at GP register as a carer and see what other help or support they can offer you.
Kind regards
Gary, looking after someone with MH is one of the most draining and difficult 'care situations' that exist!

From the sound of things, it isn't really sustainable 'as is' is it? The most pressing issue, of course, is the children (are they yours, and if not, have you adopted them - ie, in terms of who gets to say what happens to them!), and their safeguarding. (Is it that your partner 'merely' neglects them, or is there an 'active danger' element to her unsafeness with them?). How old are they - I'm assuming they're quite young? Are they at school yet? (Significan't practical implications of 'exposure time' to their mum)

But, the bottom line is that IF your partner is not safe with her children, then, as you say, 'someone else' has to be with her if they are in her company. How can that be you if you work full time?

Do you think there is any probability that the children will be taken in to care, on safeguarding grounds (best to face the worst possibilities, 'just in case'!)

Does your partner understand and take on board that she has MH issues, and is she getting (accepting) treatment for it (that's not always the case, alas - one of the most frustrating aspects of MH in general - denial they have it!). You say 'four months' - is that the length of your relationship or the length of time she's had the current state of mind? If the latter, did anything in particular set it off, and what is her prognosis?

The issue of prognosis is important, as the brute truth about caring (for all of carers, whatever our circumstances!) is 'how long'! So, if say, there is every sign her current state of mind is temporary, and will respond well to treatment, then you can 'adapt and survive' for a temporary period (even, maybe, staying out of work for say 6 months etc), BUT, if it's long term and 'embedded' then a far more long-term and radical solution is required. Think VERY carefully before say giving up work - being 'at home' with one's caree can be very, very stressful. Many carers cling on to the semblance of 'normality' by keeping a job going if they can....

It's not an easy situation ,that's for sure. Do take a read of some of the threads in the Mental Health section at the end of the index. You may well find others are wearing your T-shirt.....

Wishing you as best an outcome as possible - kind regards, Jenny

PS - don't forget (as if you could!) that a parent with MH does 'impact' their children. My mum certainly impacted my bro and me!
Hi jenny I have been with mel for 3 years one is mine and one not but both are treated as they are mine. Mel no danger to the children but she has moments where she comes a different person and forgets them . Mel is completly medicated and we are hoping that she becomes more stable and becomes able to have children again on her own. The children have been put into my care so I have to make all the day to day choices with what happens with the kids.

I have been able to work the last four months with help from friends and family also we are having a 0lan put into place so that social are going to pay for child care during my work time.

Yes it is extremly hard and I also had to live though it with my mum for years as a child as well.